Institutional investors have until the end of May to join the initial list of signatories to the code, which is officially known as the Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors. Hermes EOS worked closely with Japan’s Financial Services Agency on the drafting of the comply-or-explain code and responded to its public consultation.
Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive officer Hermes Fund Managers said, “The development of the code represents a switch from a traditionally rules-based corporate culture to one based on principles combined with a comply-or-explain approach.”
Colin Melvin, chief executive officer Hermes Equity Ownership Services said, “The development of the principles represents a significant step forward in responsible investment and ownership activities in Japan. It is also a sign that stewardship activities are spreading around the world.”
Following the launch of the UK Stewardship Code in 2010, the Dutch corporate governance forum Eumedion developed the so-called best practices for engaged ownership and the European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama) produced its Code for External Governance.
South Africa launched the Code for Responsible Investing in South Africa (Crisa) and Switzerland developed the guidelines for institutional investors governing the exercising of participation rights in public limited companies. Italy’s Stewardship Code was published in late 2013 and Malaysia is set to publish its Code for Institutional Investors later this year.